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The Man Who Couldn't Stop

Narrated by: Daniel Philpott
Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (129 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this captivating fusion of science and personal memoir, writer David Adam explores the weird thoughts that exist within every mind. David has suffered from OCD for twenty years, and The Man Who Couldn’t Stop is his honest attempt to understand the condition. At what point does a harmless idea become a blinding blizzard of unwanted thoughts? Drawing on the latest research on the brain, as well as historical accounts of patients and their treatments, this is an audiobook that will challenge the way you think about what is normal, and what is mental illness.

©2014 David Adam (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Superb... A brave and helpful contribution to deepening our understanding of the intricate complexities of mental ill-health." ( The Times)
"Combines a scientific account of OCD from ancient times to the most recent research with passages of tenderly written memoir." ( Telegraph)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Amazing look into the mind of OCD

Really enjoyed this book. Great balance of history of mental illness of this nature with personal experience. Definitely recommend this read to anyone who is curious about this condition. I didn't expect a book of this nature to be so difficult to put down...but I was intrigued cover to cover.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Insight about a disorder and the life it steals

Great book, well written and contains a lot of informant about the disorder itself and what life is like with it.
I have to read many books such as this for my schooling and this one sticks out as one that provides a holistic overview of OCD not just what it’s like to have it as many others do.

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Life changing!

This book is life changing for ANYONE who reads it! I have never seen such a full and honest portrayal of a mental health disorder, and the narration was gripping from beginning to end. Bravo!!

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Profound and Insightful

A brave and deep, yet concise dive into this terrifying affliction. Adam is courageous in shining a spotlight here, a subject with is little understood and highly misrepresented. His bravery in talking about his own affliction is commendable. A must read for therapists, psychologists and anyone interested in the mind.

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Better understanding of OCD

I learned quite a bit about OCD which my son has lived with since he was a young boy, he is now 30. Wish I had read something like this sooner, I suppose I thought I understood the topic a great deal better. My only negative about this book is that he did not really get into much about the brain scans and related research that has been done over the last few years. I am certain, however, there are many books I can find which will lend more to that topic. If you are dealing with OCD or have a loved one who is, you definitely want to read this book.

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This is what OCD is.

I've suffered with OCD and PTSD for years. I plan to suggest this book to everyone who wants a better understanding of what the disability is.

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Captivating

Apart from being well written and narrated, this book draws the you into the mind boggling world of OCD. And leaves you thinking "but for the grace og God, that could've been me". The various cases (not least the author himself) gives the book an enormous level of credibility. After finishing this book I've started it over again straight away.

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  • Judy Corstjens
  • 05-01-17

A valuable book

I don't have OCD, but I'm interested as a 'third party', and I found this account very valuable to help me understand, as far as one can (OCD does seem so odd to someone who is not affected directly). I do believe that David Adam is a genuine expert on the subject through being a sufferer himself, with insights more worthwhile than those of 'expert psychologists' who try to treat sufferers. He weaves his own story in with his reading of scientific research and his own experience of treatment, to provide a convincing overview of the whole topic. I cannot recommend this book to sufferers, but I would recommend it enthusiastically to anyone in my position, trying to be sympathetic and helpful to a sufferer.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-29-14

Lively, informative, and personable

Any additional comments?

This book brilliantly uses a rich and personal account to educate the listener about OCD - both what it is, and what it is not. It's a really balanced perspective, helpful both to myself as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist and I'd imagine to listeners who themselves are experiencing challenges associated with obsessive and compulsive symptoms.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Eoghan
  • 07-25-19

Great personal account, poor critique

Adam gives a fantastic account of how OCD has affected him, and relays the experiences of others. Unfortunately, when he steps beyond that things get ropey in places.

It is clear that Adam has benefitted greatly from psychiatric care - a standard multidisciplinary team approach with medication, talk therapy and support. But then he goes on to give out about psychiatry basically not being the magical saviour of everyone with mental illness, ignoring the massive benefit seen by people who otherwise have no chance of improving. He also ignores the failure of treatments in other areas of medicine.

One specific set of criticisms around diagnosis in psychiatry stands out. Adam complains that ‘tick 5 boxes and you’re depressed, 4 and you’re not’, and psychiatry should work more like physical medicine instead of having these arbitrary cutoffs decided by committee. This ignores that hypertension, sepsis, diabetes, cancer and so forth are diagnsosed in exactly the same way. Adam in fact specifically refers to hypertension in exactly that way, but fails to draw the parallel with the psychiatric equivalents.

Overall the book is still an excellent read, especially if unfamiliar with OCD and the related impact this can have.

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  • Thanos
  • 02-12-19

Real life,history of the disorder & brain science!

a very interesting combination of historical facts anecdotes and real life experiences of the author regarding add disorder that is based on the brain and affect the mind.

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  • Mark
  • 06-09-18

problem with the first chapter and its verbal pres

I bought this book as an insight into this topic. The beginning of it was over acted and very dramatic. rather than being informative. Its description of a triggering event causing OCD and mental trauma actually caused me some actual distress, which was very weird. If you dont have anxiety or OCD its interesting if you do this is not likely to help. I never got past the first 30 minutes, now every time I think about the book I recall his anxiety. Not a good listen if you have anxiety. I think I will buy a book written in a more clinical and less emotive way to understand this condition.

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  • Neill
  • 03-14-17

PDF or readable version as well

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

In Psych student studying OCD

What other book might you compare The Man Who Couldn't Stop to, and why?

Don't know of any to compare it with

Have you listened to any of Daniel Philpott’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No I haven't

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

NO I'm studying the book - over a week.

Any additional comments?

Need a readable with audio only big let down for me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful